Working with my cupboard challenge has shown me how accustomed I've become to this unlimited choice and how it has actually, strangely enough, narrowed my options by keeping me in the safe zone of my own predilections and cravings. It's been challenging but I'm starting to appreciate being pushed to explore beyond my limited appetite and stretched to figure out how to make something with so-so appeal seem appetizing. What can I do to this box of butternut squash soup to make it something I want to eat? Ah yes, maybe a plop of yogurt and a drizzle of truffle oil. Or some fresh minced cilantro and chili. Or even just a few springs of fresh thyme from the plant on the windowsill and a handful croutons for crunch.
Limits can feel restrictive, but they also present new opportunities and encourage creative thinking. Wendell Berry is often quoted as saying "The mind that is not baffled is not employed" and it's that bafflement, that very act of trying to solve a problem that adds a spark and new possibilities to my routine. So I'm actually grateful for my shrinking pantry and find I'm looking forward to what demands it will bring me next. But seriously, those green beans are going to be a tough one.
(Image: Paul Cézanne)